The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Public Lands Council along with 34 state affiliates and stakeholders sent a letter to 11 democrat members of the Senate encouraging Congress to act in a bi-partisan manner to withdraw the EPA and Army Corps’ of Engineers’ “waters of the United States” rule. Despite the recent action by the Senate, NCBA President Philip Ellis and PLC President Brenda Richards said withdrawal of WOTUS remains a top priority for both associations.
“We have a clear opportunity at the end of this year for Congress to withdraw the WOTUS rule and save cattle producers and the states, millions of dollars in litigation expense and years of delay,” said Ellis. “Both chambers of Congress have acted in a bi-partisan way to stop this toxic regulation, the Corps’ and the Courts have pointed out significant defects with the regulation, and the rulemaking process was clearly flawed. This regulation is disastrous for America’s cattlemen and women and all stakeholders. Worse yet, it will do nothing to clarify the Clean Water Act or safeguard our nation’s resources.”
The letter was sent to 11 Senators who voted against WOTUS legislation in the Senate, stressing the concerns of cattle producers and other agricultural stakeholders. It was signed by NCBA, PLC and each of the NCBA affiliates representing cattle producers in those 11 states. While these Senators did not ultimately support legislation which would have halted WOTUS, they did send a letter to the EPA expressing that they could not support the WOTUS rule.
“While these Senators did not support legislation to withdraw the WOTUS rule, the concerns they expressed echo those of cattle producers across the nation,” said Richards. “We are fortunate the Courts have acted to stay implementation of the rule across the country, however, that is only temporary and time is running out for Congress to act this year.”
The letter notes that the lack of clarity and the risk associated with the WOTUS rule cannot be corrected by further guidance from the EPA. It asks these Senators to support their constituents by supporting legislation in the Senate, like the Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) which directs the agencies to withdraw this rule.
Additionally, as part of a coalition of 42 stakeholders, NCBA and PLC sent a separate letter to the full Congress urging support for bi-partisan legislative action to withdraw the rule.